Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,500,000)
Project Title: Acenda CVIPI Multi-County Coalition
Applicant Name: Acenda, Inc.
Acenda Integrated Health proposes to convene a tri-county gun violence intervention and prevention coalition which utilizes credible messengers, multi-sector partnerships and data-driven strategies to address the unique safety needs of rural communities in Southern New Jersey. Research has clearly demonstrated that the same factors which impact gun violence in large urban centers also significantly affect smaller, rural communities. However, rural communities tend to have less access to much needed resources and funding in order to develop an appropriate infrastructure which disrupts the cycles of violence. The agency plans to engage populations which have not only historically been as impacted as larger urban centers by increasing trends of gun violence, but due to the remote locations and exacerbating socioeconomic and infrastructure challenges have been significantly more damaged in terms of overall stability and access to supports.
This essential funding will allow the Acenda CVIPI Coalition to develop a community-specific Violence Reduction Strategic Plan for the 126,588 residents in six Southern New Jersey cities that have experienced significant growth in gun violence incidents: Penns Grove (Salem County), Salem City (Salem County), Paulsboro (Gloucester County), Bridgeton (Cumberland County), Millville (Cumberland County), and Vineland (Cumberland County). The proposed model is intended to supplement existing gun violence prevention and intervention programming within the identified counties.
For purposes of the initiative, Acenda will engage multiple partners to serve on the Coalition Steering Committee, which will serve as the primary working group for the project. Partners will include local public health officials, hospital leadership, social justice organizations, and law enforcement. Additionally, Acenda will subcontract with three key entities in order to meet the timeline, goals and deliverables of the CVIPI. These entities include Cure Violence Global (evidence-based violence intervention and prevention model development); Rutgers NJ Gun Violence Research Center (needs assessment and performance measures development/implementation); and Life Worth Living (credible messenger, violence intervention workforce, community advocate).
Acenda will also provide subawards to three additional community-based agencies which demonstrate a strategy and commitment to reduce gun violence. The agencies’ plans will be required to align with the strategic goals of the CVIPI coalition.
- RESTORE Adult Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Program
- Expansion of High Risk Mitigation Team
- Development and implementation of behavior threat assessment teams, suicide prevention/anti-bullying training for school personnel and students, and specialized training for school resource officers